It’s hit a point in The Babe’s upbringing where simple question and answer type teaching is not enough. Where’s the red, upside-down chimpanzee in your favorite book? “There!” she says in a millisecond. Count to 20. Easy as pie. Put together this puzzle. Done with minimal intervention.
I had an epiphany (more of an oh crap! moment) a few months ago that I better figure out what’s next. And enter Phonics, stage right. But I knew that basic flash cards and books would be too dull for my attention-challenged kiddo. So I started exploring ways to incorporate messy play or crafts with phonics.
I was inspired by the Alphabet Squish at I can Teach My Child. This only took a few simple supplies: a baking sheet, alphabet stickers, shaving cream and freezer paper (FYI, I’m obsessed with freezer paper and all the things I can use it for. But I’ll save that insanity post for another day.)
First, The Babe helped me tape the freezer paper down and added the alphabet stickers to the sheet. I decided to have her put the stickers on in random directions and placement to add an extra challenge to the activity. Especially on those dang M’s and W’s. I’m guessing that she isn’t the only 3 year old that gets those mixed up. Every time. Am I right??? With each sticker she placed on the sheet, we practiced sounds and naming objects that start with that letter. “T is for toy! Teh teh teh.”
Next was the best part… the shaving cream!! The Babe could squirt shaving cream all day. She squirted a small mountain of shaving cream over each letter sticker.
And now for the waiting. We actually waited overnight for the phonics part so that the little mountains were good and dry. Good thing shaving cream and paint make for a solid half hour of independent, messy play (read: miracle).
Finally, the next morning, the shaving cream mountains had become more like hills and it was time to repeat our phonics game.
The Babe dug into each hill and named the letter. Honestly, she didn’t love the feeling of the dried, sticky shaving cream. But we did make it through about 10 letters before she was too skeeved out by the feeling. And the last letter? “B! Buh buh buh. B is for boy. Ugh, I don’t want it to be for boy. Let’s make it bee…” And so it begins…